Soccer coaching drill for effective closing down techniques

Forcing attackers away from central areas makes it harder for them to create an opportunity to shoot because it narrows the angle between them and the goal. This soccer coaching session will help you coach 1v1 defending, forcing attackers away from goal and making opponents' play predictable.
Soccer coaching drill to get players forcing attackers away from centre

What to look for in this soccer drill

  • Closing down space quickly while the ball is travelling.

  • Defenders getting their body between the attacker and the goal.
  • The speed and angle of approach.
  • Defenders should be balanced and edge in slowly once the attacker has the ball.
  • Stay within touching distance.
  • Have the correct body shape – a bit side on, slightly crouching.
  • Stay standing.
  • Tackling techniques.

What to get your players to do in the drill

One defender and one attacker stand diagonally opposite each other at the corners that don't have the goals.

The defender passes to the attacker and moves to defend the goal directly opposite the attacker, which the attacker must try to dribble through.

The players join the back of the queue for a turn in the other role.

Develop the soccer drill

Give the attacker the option of passing the ball through the goal opposite.To progress further, the attacker can now also dribble across the whole of the opposite end line, although more points must be awarded for dribbling through the goal.

Play it in a game

Play 4v4 with goals in opposite corners as used throughout the soccer coaching session. The playing area needs to be enlarged though. The defending team will need to keep moving the attackers sideways, away from the goal they are defending.

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Click here for a soccer drill to get your players forcing attackers sideways.